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Making Innovation Work

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Making Innovation Work

How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit From It

Wharton School Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You don't have to wait for innovation to happen. Plan for it, and make it happen methodically in your company.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


getAbstract recommends this book to everyone involved in innovation. Whether you're involved as a creative thinker, a promoter of new products, a manager guiding the innovation process or an investor evaluating an innovative company, there's gold here for you. Authors Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein and Robert Shelton compress a mass of research and experience in innovation practices into a set of rules and guiding principles. Then, they use stories, lucid explanations, charts and careful definitions to illustrate how these principles work. A few of these concepts could have been expanded profitably - for example, how to tell in practice when radical innovation is needed, how to determine if you're innovating too much or too fast, and how to sort out the best ideas without discouraging the creators of the rejected concepts. That's the only caveat; everything else is fascinating and immediately applicable.


What Is Innovation?

Innovation is not revolutionary or magical, and not every company has to innovate a lot. Depending upon your industry, polishing existing processes might be enough. Three broad rules govern innovation. First, like other aspects of business, it requires specific conceptual tools, used with discipline. Second, to innovate profitably, you must measure and reward innovation. Third, to change your industry fundamentally, combine a business model change with a technological change.

Company leaders - who play the most vital role in innovation - must choose between a "Play-to-Win" (PTW) strategy and a "Play-Not-to-Lose" (PNTL) strategy. Once you determine your approach, guide innovation by using metrics and rewards, and by helping your organization learn.

What Kind of Innovation Fits Your Organization

Firms that innovate can prosper, and change society and their industries. Innovation isn't just for business; nonprofits can also apply it. Build the right portfolio of innovation by deciding what's appropriate for your firm, based on its nature and market position.

Innovation can be "incremental, semi-radical or radical." Incremental ...

About the Authors

Tony Davila, Ph.D., designs performance management systems and teaches at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Marc J. Epstein, a veteran consultant, taught at Stanford, Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management and INSEAD. Robert Shelton has been a vice president and/or managing director at three major consultancies.

Comment on this summary

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    B. N. 3 years ago
    structure of innovation system should
    efficiency, communication, coordination, learning and alignment. Efficiency moves innovations quickly from ideas to the market.
  • Avatar
    A. M. 5 years ago
    could I get it Free ?

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